Mid-Shore Teachers Complete Environmental Literacy Training with Pickering Creek

For nine weeks, a cohort of mid-shore teachers gathered with staff of Pickering Creek Audubon Center on Wednesday evenings and two Saturdays to immerse themselves in Maryland’s Environmental Literacy (E-Lit) Standards. Established in 2011, Maryland’s Environmental Literacy Standards require all students to participate in multi-disciplinary environmental programs to build students’ understanding of the inextricable links between humans and the natural world. Hailing from Talbot, Kent and Wicomico counties, the eight teachers had experience in a range of grade levels and content disciplines.

Lynn Alemon, a 4th grade teacher at Easton Elementary School releases a newly banded thrush.

Focusing on one standard each week, the teachers were invited to explore environmental concepts by investigating Pickering Creek’s forest, meadow and wetland habitats, modeling activities, and engaging in discussions. These programs were led by Pickering Creek’s knowledgeable staff, which works with Eastern Shore school systems to help them meet Maryland’s Environmental Literacy Standards.  One Wednesday evening, teachers immersed themselves in a restored freshwater wetland by pulling on chest waders and seining in the waters before considering how human activities influence the availability of habitats. Another week teachers canoed on Pickering Creek, taking water quality samples while discussing the influence of the environment on human health. Before colder days set in, the group spent an evening sweeping butterfly nets through the meadows and looking for monarch butterflies and other insects while considering limiting factors on populations, communities and ecosystems.

“This reminds us that we need to be outside, and to be mindful of that with our students,” remarked Charlotte Compton, a first grade teacher at Easton Elementary School. “They need it too.”

Supported through a Chesapeake Bay Trust mini-grant, teachers had an opportunity to earn up to two continuing education credits if they attended both the nine weekday evening sessions as well as two Saturday field trips. On a Saturday in late September, the teachers traveled to Washington College’s Chester River Field Research Station, where they shadowed field ecologist, Maren Gimple, and learned about banding of migratory birds. Teachers watched as Gimple deftly removed Common Yellowthroats, Ovenbirds and other migratory birds from the station’s mist nets, took measurements of each bird, and attached a small metal bracelet to each bird’s leg. The teachers learned how data collected at the station in Chestertown is used to enhance our understanding of spring and fall seasonal bird migration along the Atlantic Flyway.

Pictured L-R (Top row): Lynn Alemon (Easton Elementary), Hayley Hartman (Pickering Creek), Danielle Devonport (Pickering Creek), Devin Herlihy (Pickering Creek), Donna Simmons (Kent School), Katelin Cep (Chapel District Elementary), Kathy Kelly (Chapel District Elementary), Jaime Bunting (Pickering Creek); (Bottom row) Jaime Eakin (Wicomico Middle), Charlotte Compton (Easton Elementary), Jeff Eutsler (White Marsh Elementary). Not pictured: Julia Berg (Bennet Middle).

In October, teachers spent a Saturday at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge where they heard from Refuge Wildlife Biologist Matt Whitbeck and Director of Science at the Nature Conservancy MD-DC, Dr. Arian Sutton-Grier, to learn about climate change, sea level rise, and the importance of protecting salt marsh habitats for wildlife and preserving the habitat’s ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. Julia Berg, a Social Studies teacher from James Bennett Middle School in Salisbury reflected, “I was fascinated to learn about blue carbon and the importance of wetlands in mitigating the effects of climate change. The E-Lit Camp has been really eye-opening and is giving me lots of ideas for working with the science teachers in my school.”

In November it was time for the teachers to synthesize what they had learned and develop activities and lessons that incorporate Environmental Literacy Standards. Jeff Eustler, a Physical Education teacher at White Marsh Elementary shared his idea of creating a fast-moving “Environmental Helpers” game during gym class that can emphasize the influence of individual and group actions on the environment. Lynn Aleman, a 4th grade Language Arts teacher at Easton Elementary School thought about how to enhance a current shark-focused reading project to include her students researching cultural and economic influences on the sharks’ populations and habitat. “I am excited to share these lessons and what I have learned with my students, in an effort to better engage them in science content during my reading block,” remarked Aleman.

Environmental literacy in the real world does not exist exclusively in the sciences; rather, it is woven throughout the many content disciplines taught in school and in all areas of our lives. But beyond the academics, the experiential aspect was what stuck for teachers. Jamie Eakin, a 6th grade science teacher from Wicomico Middle School summed it up: “E-Lit Camp is like teaching therapy for me. I get to be a student and feel the joy of learning again.”

Contact: Mary Helen Gillen, National Audubon Society, mgillen@audubon.org, 410-822-4903

Environmental Concern Intern Receives Prestigious Award

Pictured is David Kramer with his mother Mary Kramer.

Environmental Concern (EC) student intern, David Kramer, was presented with the 2018 Outstanding Intern Award from the Frostburg State University (FSU) Career and Professional Development Center at a luncheon held on October 26th. The award honors students for excellent performance in off campus internships. The Career and Professional Development Center “empowers students to make career decisions and pursue the skill development necessary to achieve success in a rapidly changing, global workplace”.

Kramer, a Talbot County native, graduated from Saints Peter & Paul High School in 2015. He is a senior at Frostburg State University, majoring in earth science with a concentration in environmental science.

David first joined Environmental Concern’s team as an intern in July 2017. He wanted to learn about shoreline restoration, and to experience all aspects of the process. EC Senior Vice President, Gene Slear, commented that, “David was always eager to jump in where needed – every day, a different challenge and new process to learn. David started and ended every day with a positive, respectful attitude”. Kramer returned to his intern position during his winter break in 2017, and again in June 2018 after his spring semester ended. EC welcomed Kramer’s return to EC. He needed very little direction over the unusually hot summer months, and made significant contributions to EC’s initiatives during his internship.

Jessica Lister, Vice President of Restoration at Environmental Concern, mentored Kramer during his internship experience. Lister commented, “David was a wonderful addition to Environmental Concern’s team during his internship, and we were thrilled to have him. This is wonderful news and well deserved. We are looking forward to having David work with EC in the future.” Lister also received a commemorative award from the University for mentoring Kramer.

Dr. James Saku, a professor of geography at FSU, visited EC’s campus and toured several of their shoreline restoration projects with Kramer. Saku noted, “I was impressed with the work David had done within a short period of time. Using the skills he had acquired from taking a class, he was involved in excessive surveying of a shoreline.”

Environmental Concern has offered training and intern opportunities to college students, graduate students, wetland professionals and teachers since 1985. As practitioners in the wetland field, EC has the resources to support and guide students and professionals through their career journey.

About Environmental Concern

Environmental Concern is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1972 to promote public understanding and stewardship of wetlands with the goal of improving water quality and enhancing nature’s habitat. The organization accomplishes its mission through wetland outreach and education, native species horticulture, and the restoration, creation and enhancement of wetlands. For more information about training opportunities visit www.wetland.org.

Waterfowl-Related Education Programs Receive 2018 Funding

This year Waterfowl Chesapeake has chosen two conservation education programs on Delmarva as the focus of its 2018 Community in Conservation Match Campaign. “We are excited to offer a dollar for dollar match, up to $5,000, for two great ways to connect students with waterfowl issues,” says Executive Director Margaret Enloe. “We raised just over $1200 during Festival weekend through the generous support of artists and Festival guests. If we reach our goal by December 31, our community will help fully fund University of Delaware’s (UD) experiences for grad students and the Ward Museum’s program for Talbot County kindergarteners.”

UD’s field program “Promoting Waterfowl Hunter Education for New Adult Students” is aimed at better connecting today’s graduate students with tomorrow’s careers in Waterfowl Ecology. Many graduate students studying in this field have never had the experience of hunting. Yet these young adults are likely to become the future leaders in environmental resource management, with positions in academia, state agencies or federal service – all of whom must work with landowners and the hunting community. How can they communicate with the hunters and landowners if they have never had the experienced the sport? The program includes certification, education on waterfowl identification, policy, habitat management, value structures associated with hunting, hunting dog training, and cooking wild game. The program ends with a voluntary opportunity to engage in a one-on-one mentored waterfowl hunting experience. Overall, the experience is designed to help them be the best leaders in conservation they can be.

The Ward Museum’s program will offer classroom visits and field trips for Talbot County kindergarten students to experience the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. While this opportunity is already successful in several other Shore counties, it will be a new program for students here. The curriculum supports MD State Department of Education’s Environmental Literacy Standards. It also meets the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) requirement for kindergarteners, which ensures that school children have hands-on, action-based learning experience that engage core concepts of watershed health and environmental impacts. And what better way for local children to understand the natural world than through lessons about our waterfowl!?

Waterfowl Chesapeake’s Community in Conservation Program includes using restricted proceeds from the Waterfowl Festival to offer non-profits and community entities the chance to receive monies for projects and initiatives at the intersection of conservation and community. “While we also support large restoration projects,” explains Enloe, “these small grants are a simple way for us to bring people and local conservation work together.”

Waterfowl Chesapeake hopes that the broad emphasis on “community” will encourage organizations to think creatively about who they can serve and will help generate new ideas to bring people and regional conservation work, research and education together on waterfowl-related issues. The matching campaign each year gives people a way to make a difference locally. “In the event that we exceed our match campaign goal, any additional funds are earmarked for next year’s worthy waterfowl projects.”

Find out more about the program or making a contribution at www.waterfowlchesapeake.org or by calling 410.822.4567.

About us: With a focus on communities, stewardship and the waterfowl-related resources and heritage on Delmarva, Waterfowl Chesapeake: Connects financial resources from the Festival and environmental needs in communities, Serves as a neutral convener for events, forums and discussions leading to solutions, and Engages and educates communities about the benefits of healthy waterfowl populations and habitats.

Seventh Graders Search for Species at Pickering Creek

Ten seventh grade students line up along the edge of Pickering Creek’s Farm to Bay loop, peering into the forest edge across the creek. An Osprey nest sits near the top of a Virginia pine tree, and students are waiting to see if they will catch a glimpse of the powerful fish-eating raptor, or perhaps a chick peering over the edge of the nest. Each year seventh graders come to Pickering Creek for a field experience called “Biodiversity Makes the Bay Better,” and spend the day searching for and counting as many different species of animals they can find within the mature forests and creek waters of the Center’s 400 acres.

Two of Bethany Haas’ 7th grade students work together to dissect and identify the parts of a lilly.

There are over 3,600 species of plants and animals found in the Chesapeake Bay, from tiny grass shrimp to Great Blue Herons, from swaying cattails to towering tulip poplars. Described by one student as “the study of the complexity and diversity of living things,” biodiversity is a theme all 350 Talbot County seventh graders have focused on in their classrooms. Funded by the Mid Shore Community Foundation, Pickering educators lead a 7th grade program that includes an in-school lesson about taxonomy, or the way organisms are classified. Working in pairs, students make observations on different physical features and adaptations of plants and animals and discuss the advantages of high species diversity, such as a greater number of natural resources, like food, being available for humans and other animals. Students learn that the more biodiversity in an ecosystem, the better that ecosystem can withstand change or disaster.

During their field experience at Pickering Creek the 7th graders get to discover for themselves many species that are found locally.  Each activity students complete—fishing on the dock, hiking the trails with binoculars, pulling seine nets through the creek—is designed to bring them into contact with a new group of organisms. The species list—student-generated proof of local biodiversity—grows as each group adds their new finds to it.

Leading seventh grade trips focused on biodiversity has multiple benefits: students build significantly on their knowledge of ecology, but also get the chance to explore and experience nature in an active way. Activities such as combing the forest for insects and seining in the creek are loved by students because it engages them fully, and it is fun! In the forest students spread out to look under leaf litter, roll over decaying logs, and catch scurrying beetles in bug boxes. Often students find small worm snakes, toads, beetle larva and spiders on the forest floor. The experience is new for many of them, and they find the freedom to explore and catch things exciting. “I can catch that toad? Really?” asks one student. Similarly, seining in the creek is a chance for students to find something new, unexpected, or often unnoticed. One day in May students found over 40 individual grass shrimp in about ten minutes. “That was really fun,” another student added after reluctantly leaving the creek and pulling off waders.

A 7th grader holds up a fish he caught during a biodiversity field trip.

Easton Middle School teacher Bethany Haas appreciates the opportunity for her students to learn about and experience biodiversity in a real-world way. “The students really enjoy going to Pickering Creek and having them come in to our classroom.  The lessons are always hands on and get them thinking more about the unique and diverse area where we live.  When they visit Pickering Creek they always enjoy the experience.  It’s nice to see young people out learning and enjoying the wonders of outdoors rather than sitting inside staring at a screen.”

At the conclusion of each field trip students review their species totals. The Osprey did not appear at the nest, but one was spotted soaring overhead while the group was fishing off the dock. “Add it to the list!” shouted one seventh-grader after seeing it fly around the creek’s corner. Students have found as many as 51 animal species in a single morning—proof of not only local biodiversity, but of the students’ engagement and persistence in finding all kinds of wildlife while visiting the Center.

Collaborating with classroom teachers is essential in creating and maintaining meaningful environmental lessons and experiences. “We always strive to work closely with teachers to develop our programs,” says Jaime Bunting, Pickering Creek’s Education Manager. “When teachers can incorporate the program directly into their curriculum, the visit from our educators and the field trip to Pickering Creek are not seen as separate and apart, but rather as an experience that harmonizes with what the students are already learning.”

In spring of 2018, Bunting met with the seventh grade teachers to partner on updating the in-class portion of the program so that it continues to closely align with the Next Generation Science Standards, Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards and recent middle school curriculum changes. Since that time Pickering Creek has been piloting updated in-class lessons that focus more on ecosystems, adaptations and variations within wildlife populations.

This work has been supported by the Mid Shore Community Foundation and many community donors like you.  Pickering Creek Audubon Center sees Eastern Shore students of all grade levels for hands on, standards-aligned environmental education programs in both classroom and field-based experiences. Educators and schools interested in developing a program for their students should contact the Center at 410-822-4903.

New Trustees Welcomed to the Pickering Creek Audubon Team

At Pickering Creek Audubon Center’s recent Board of Trustees meeting Esther Fleischmann, Dorothy Whitcomb and Andrew Smith joined the Pickering Creek Audubon Center Board of Trustees as new members, elected to a three year term.  They join recent addition Ron Ketter and current trustees Dirck Bartlett, Dave Bent, Tom Kimbis, Cemmy Peterson, Tom Sanders, Stuart Strahl, Carol Thompson and Cheryl Tritt.

Esther Fleischmann has been teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology at UMBC for over 20 years where she has been privileged to work with curious and highly motivated students.  Her academic roots stem from time living on Guam where she learned to scuba dive and decided to become a marine biologist.

Esther only started birding seriously in the last five years and can only imagine what her life lists would look like if they included Guam and other places she has traveled.  Birding and an invitation from long-time colleague, Bryan Mackay, led to her serving on the board of the Chesapeake Audubon Society for the last two years.  It is all she can do to get to work on time during the spring migration, wiping off her muddy boots on the way into the classroom.  Esther is committed to being an educator and a life-long learner herself.

Top: Esther Fleischmann and Dorothy Whitcomb. Bottom: Andrew Smith and Ron Ketter

Dorothy Whitcomb worked in the home furnishings industry for over 30 years.  As a contributing editor and freelance journalist, she covered business and design trends, as well as a diverse range of products. In addition to her work in the home furnishings industry, she is the owner and president of Quarter Cove Associates, a consulting firm that provides communications and business strategy services to small businesses and non-profit organizations.

In 1997, Whitcomb began living part time the Eastern Shore. Two years later, she and her husband, Don Whitcomb, moved full time to a home they built on Presquile Point, just down the road past Pickering Creek. They lived there for seventeen years before moving in 2017 to the town of Easton.

Andrew Smith’s family moved to Easton when he was 14. He grew up on the Miles River where he developed a love for the outdoors. He met his future wife, Sally, in high school, and together they have raised three beautiful children and five wonderful grandchildren.

Before moving back to Easton, Andy spent from 1970-1980 at a family lumber business in Baltimore. He retired four years ago from a twenty-eight year career with O.N.Andrew and Son, a local roofing contractor. Andy has been on the board of the Chesapeake Center, and delights in seeing the accomplishments of the clients there!

Andy enjoys being involved with the wood duck monitoring program at Pickering Creek for several years. It is truly a treat to have seen Pickering Creek develop into an educational asset for the community for young and old.

Ron Ketter and his wife, Janet, moved to the Eastern Shore in 2016, where they live just outside of Easton and enjoy birdwatching, gardening, camping and hiking. Ron has a lifelong interest in nature and conservation, both in his personal and professional life. He retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 2016, where he served in the national office in Washington DC as Director of Strategic Planning, Acting Budget Director, and Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer. He also spent over four years in California as Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. In addition to volunteering at Pickering Creek, Ron’s other volunteer activities include assisting with biological surveys and monitoring at Blackwater National Refuge, serving on the Board of the Friends of Blackwater as their Treasurer, monitoring the Tred Avon River quality for ShoreRivers, and serving as a mentor with Talbot Mentors.

A key part of the National Audubon Society network, Pickering Creek Audubon Center funds its budget through contributions and fees secured by the Pickering staff and board. This local funding directly supports science and environmental education programs for students and residents in Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline and Wicomico counties.

Enjoy the Sights and Sounds of Fall at Blackwater NWR

Come experience the changing of the seasons at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) by participating in one of our remaining Guided Birding tours in the fall of 2018.  You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy identifying and learning about the many species of plants and animals that inhabit the refuge.

Fall birding tours at Blackwater highlight the returning migratory waterfowl, and you will not want to miss the opportunity to observe and identify our diverse array of feathered friends, from warblers and wading birds to numerous species of waterfowl and raptors, including the bald eagle.  The three remaining dates for Guided Birding are: Sunday, November 18, led by Harry Armistead; Sunday, November 25, led by Dave Palmer; and Sunday, December 2, led by Terry Allen.  Participants will meet at the Blackwater NWR Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. for each bird walk, which may last 3 to 4 hours.  The birding party usually car pools, stopping at various points around the refuge’s Wildlife Drive.

Binoculars and field guides are highly recommended for an enjoyable experience, and be sure to dress for the weather!  There is no fee or advanced registration for these activities.  For further information, please call the Blackwater Visitor Center at 410-228-2677.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 29,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwoods and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife.  To learn more, visit our website at www.fws.gov/refuge/blackwater or follow us on Facebook @BlackwaterNWR.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Horn Point is offering “Science After Hours” Talks in St. Michaels

The Chesapeake Bay and its rivers are the lifeblood of the Eastern Shore. While many easily recognize the natural beauty Bay country offers, the Horn Point Laboratory is offering “Science After Hours with Horn Point Laboratory,” to make the science of the Chesapeake Bay as accessible as its beauty.

“Science After Hours with Horn Point Laboratory” will be held on November 15 and December 3 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Michaels Branch of the Talbot Co. Library, located at 106 Freemont Street, St. Michaels MD

 21663. Programs include:

Thursday, November 15:  

Dr. Patricia Glibert; “Nutrient Pollution and Water Quality – global insight & local perspective ” This talk will explore nutrient pollution and algal blooms – lessons from around the world, the recent Florida red tide and blooms in the Bay.

Monday, December 3:

Dr. Victoria Coles; “Changing Chesapeake: What’s in store for the Eastern Shore” This interactive talk will go back in time over the past century using local weather stations to learn how our weather has been changing – and what models predict for the future.”

Free and open to the public the forty-five-minute talks will shed light into the mysteries of the Bay and highlight Horn Point Laboratory’s research working to improve the health of the Bay and coastal waters globally.  Questions and participation by the audience are encouraged.


Register on line:  https://www.umces.edu/science-after-hours-november, or contact Carin Starr, cstarr@umces.edu or 410-221-8408.


Maryland Senate Recognizes 2018 as Year of the Bird

The Maryland Senate has presented Audubon with an official citation recognizing 2018 as the Year of the Bird in Maryland. The declaration celebrates native and migratory birds making their way through Maryland this time of year and the state’s remarkable landscapes and water resources that support them.  The citation was delivered by State Senator Addie Eckardt at Pickering Creek on October 29 in front of the artist Hitnes impressive Green Heron mural on the Center’s boathouse. “We are honored to have the Maryland Senate and Senator Eckardt recognize the importance of birds in our local landscape and recognizes 2018 as the Year of the Bird”, said Mark Scallion, Director of Pickering Creek Audubon Center.  “We are also proud that our 400 acre Center is open to the public daily with no admission for them to view birds, explore habitats and connect with nature.”

Audubon works with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland State Department of Education on Governor Hogan’s Project Green Classrooms as well as with a host of local, state and federal agencies on important bird area protection, environmental literacy and sea level rise adaptation.

Home to 42 Important Bird Areas and more than 400 observed species, the declaration recognizes that Maryland and the Eastern Shore’s natural resources provide important habitat for birds. Within Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay watershed serves as an important breeding and stopover area for millions of migratory birds each year.

People around the world are celebrating 2018 as Year of the Bird. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest wildlife protection laws in the United States. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners around the world joined forces to celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird.  The next opportunity to learn about birds at Pickering Creek will be at its Hoot and Holler Owl Prowl on November 9th at 5:30.

“Year of the Bird is an easy way people can take small everyday actions to help birds along their journeys,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO for National Audubon Society. “Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay provides wintering grounds for approximately one-third of the Atlantic coast’s migratory population including iconic waterfowl species like the Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal for centuries.”

Many conservation organizations, agencies, businesses and academics have been instrumental in protecting birds and the places they need in Maryland. In celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Bird, there is great appreciation for the efforts of many organizations, including local Audubon chapters and centers, the Maryland Ornithological Society, the Department of Natural Resources, waterfowl associations and duck clubs, and many others. For more about Year of the Bird visit www.birdyourworld.org.

Adkins Arboretum Receives Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grants

Support from Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) and the CBT Chesapeake Conservation Corps program has made several exciting projects possible at Adkins Arboretum.

In 2016-2017, Corps member Kathy Thornton (now the Arboretum’s Land Steward) organized an All Hands on Deck workshop for the Conservation Corps to learn from renowned landscape designer and author Claudia West and to help her install a 4,500-plant plug design for the Arboretum Entrance Garden. What used to be mostly mulch was transformed into a living matrix of purple love grass, butterfly milkweed, aromatic asters, nodding onion, broomsedge, columbine and small’s ragwort. A CBT Chesapeake Conservation Corps mini grant and a CBT All Hands on Deck award provided funding for plants, and Conservation Corps members volunteered to plant the garden in early summer 2017. Now, a year after its installation, the garden is lush, thriving and a haven for birds and pollinators. West, North Creek Nurseries, New Moon Nurseries and numerous private donors also made generous contributions to help create the garden.

From left, Chesapeake Conservation Corps member Nathaniel Simmons, Adkins Arboretum Land Steward Kathy Thornton and Chesapeake Conservation Corps member Emily Castle.

Earlier this year, Corps member Blake Steiner created a citizen-scientist phenology program at the Arboretum. With support from a CBT Mini Grant, Steiner held two training workshops for volunteers interested in phenology, the study of cyclic and seasonal natural events. He also developed a phenology walk that included eight species of focus. Data collected by staff and volunteers are submitted to Nature’s Notebook, the National Phenology Network’s data platform, to be shared and publicly accessible nationwide.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps program has also matched the Arboretum with two full-time Corps members for 2018-2019. The Corps is a green jobs program created by the Maryland Legislature, and administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, to educate and train the next generation of environmental stewards. The program matches young people ages 18–25 with nonprofit and governmental organizations for paid one-year terms of service that focus on improving local communities and protecting natural resources. Corps members Emily Castle and Nathaniel Simmons joined the Arboretum staff in August. Both are 2018 graduates of Washington College in Chestertown.

Castle served as president of the Washington College Campus Garden initiative, which created a flourishing sanctuary for wildlife and hands-on learning. She also has worked at Mt. Cuba Center and Longwood Gardens, and she is co-founder of the college’s Food Recovery Network, a program that transports leftover food from the dining hall to a local church to serve members of the Chestertown community at weekly dinners.

Simmons spent his college tenure working with Dr. Aaron Krochmal on a multi-year mark and recapture study on eastern painted turtles and snapping turtles. In addition to working year-round on his family’s Christmas tree farm, he worked as an intern for the college’s Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory and is a certified 4-H Leader Volunteer.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly dedicated to improving the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake region through environmental education, community engagement and local watershed restoration.

Horn Point Laboratory Offers Science Seminars for Local Residents

The Chesapeake Bay and its rivers are the lifeblood of the Eastern Shore. While many easily recognize the natural beauty Bay country offers, the Horn Point Laboratory is offering “Science After Hours with Horn Point Laboratory,” to make the science of the Chesapeake Bay as accessible as its beauty.

“Science After Hours with Horn Point Laboratory” will be held on November 15 and December 3 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Michaels Branch of the Talbot Co. Library, located at 106 Freemont Street, St. Michaels MD 21663.

Register on line:  https://www.umces.edu/science-after-hours-november, or contact Carin Starr, cstarr@umces.edu or 410-221-8408.

Dr. Patricia Glibert (left) and Dr. Victoria Coles

Programs include:

Thursday, November 15:
Dr. Patricia Glibert; “Nutrient Pollution and Water Quality – global insight & local perspective ”
This talk will explore nutrient pollution and algal blooms – lessons from around the world, the recent Florida red tide and blooms in the Bay.

Monday, December 3:
Dr. Victoria Coles; “Changing Chesapeake: What’s in store for the Eastern Shore”

This interactive talk will go back in time over the past century using local weather stations to learn how our weather has been changing – and what models predict for the future.”

Free and open to the public the forty-five-minute talks will shed light into the mysteries of the Bay and highlight Horn Point Laboratory’s research working to improve the health of the Bay and coastal waters globally.  Questions and participation by the audience are encouraged.


The Horn Point Laboratory is part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the University System of Maryland’s environmental research institution. UMCES researchers are helping improve our scientific understanding of Maryland, the region and the world through five research centers – Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore, and the Maryland Sea Grant College in College Park. www.umces.edu